How to avoid getting sick on vacation

By taking a little extra care and following a few best practices, you can avoid getting sick on vacation and have the most fun possible while you're away.

How to avoid getting sick on vacation

Wash your hands

Hand washing is very simple, and it remains one of the easiest ways to avoid illness on vacation. This is most important after using the bathroom and before eating meals. Walking around markets and attractions exposes hands to all kinds of surfaces and potential bugs. Washing your hands carefully prevents you from turning those germs into illness. According to Health Canada, you should lather with soap and scrub your hands under running water for at least 20 seconds. Carrying a tube of hand sanitizer is useful in places where there is no running water.

Wrap shoes well

Shoes are dirty, no matter how often they are cleaned. Just think about all the places a pair of shoes goes during the day as you travel around, exploring the sights. In some cultures, shoes are not worn inside the home for this reason. When packing suitcases, you can avoid contaminating other items by using shoe bags. If you'll be camping, place boots in the outer section of the tent to avoid contaminating sleeping bags and other items.

Be careful of what you eat

Avoid eating fruit that cannot be peeled or washed, as it sometimes harbours contaminants. Look for food that can be unwrapped, rather than exposed items which may have been handled by others or have attracted flies.

Where water is a concern, look for the bottled variety instead of relying on tap water and remember to use it for brushing your teeth, too. Using iodine tablets to sterilize water is helpful in areas where there is no bottled water.

Food cooked quickly at a high temperature is usually safer than items that have been gently stewing all day. Buffets are a hot spot where food may have been touched by others and left standing for several hours. Eating where the locals go and finding hot food served quickly will help you avoid food poisoning.

All of these measures help reduce the risk of getting sick on vacation. By taking a few precautions, you greatly reduce the risk of falling ill at a time when you should be relaxing.

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